NELSON Mandela Bay’s most dangerous policing precinct is Kwazakhele.
Police crime statistics released yesterday indicate that the majority of hijackings, kidnappings, business and house robberies in the Bay occurred in the sprawling township.
Between April last year and March this year, police recorded 120 hijackings, 14 kidnappings, 92 business robberies and 143 house robberies – the highest per category in the city.
While New Brighton recorded the most murders – 115 – the figures for the other crimes were significantly lower than in Kwazakhele.
Qaphelani High School principal Mandisi Mvimbeli said crime was “especially high” in the Endongweni area in Kwazakhele.
He urged the community to stand together in the fight against crime and recommended that police be more visible.
“Not too long ago, police chased after a stolen vehicle around the school. Shebeens are mushrooming around the school which also adds to the problem,” he said.
Drug abuse was another problem at the school.
“We need to do body searches at the school. Teenagers come to school with dagga and this is a big problem,” Mvimbeli said.
Kwazakhele resident and swim instructor Mbali Hani said crime was a concern in the area.
“Funding for the swimming programme for the youth stopped, so I am worried about what will happen to them. Sport is one way of keeping the youth off the street and out of trouble. Something must be done about this,” Hani said
In New Brighton, pensioner Eric Oliphant agreed with Mvimbeli that visible policing was needed.
“Police also tend to turn up very late after a crime is committed.”
Oliphant said while he did not feel unsafe, there was an increase in business robberies towards the end of the year.
“The other problem is that residents who witnessed a crime won’t speak up about it because they fear the culprits will come after them.
“These days are so different. When we grew up we listened to our parents,” Oliphant said.